For cataract patients who also have astigmatism, Toric Intraocular Lenses (IOL), offer a chance to enjoy quality distance vision with minimal need for glasses or contact lenses. Astigmatism is a common condition which occurs when the shape of the cornea, or clear surface of the eye, isn’t perfectly round. This causes the light that enters the eye to focus at two points inside the eye. This is easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses. However, when these eyes have cataract surgery the astigmatism will persist after surgery unless it is addressed at the time of surgery with either an additional surgical procedure or special lens called a Toric IOL.
A Toric IOL has the astigmatism correction built into the lens. After carefully examining your eyes and discussing the options with you, your surgeon will recommend the option he believes is best for you. Typically insurance does not cover the cost of these procedures or lenses so typically there will be an additional out of pocket cost to the patient.
During your consultation, we will do advanced diagnostic tests to determine which cataract surgery option would best suit your needs. There are varying reasons that determine the type of procedure we offer a patient. Since everyone’s eyes and visual needs are different, your surgeon will evaluate your eyes and inform you what your best option is. When a patient is interested in advanced laser cataract surgery, we perform more extensive testing to make sure the patient is a good candidate. One of the tests that we perform takes a high-definition picture of the back part of the patient’s eye known as the macula. The doctor will evaluate the health of the patient’s eye to see if a premium lens will be of benefit to the patient. We also perform a test known as corneal topography, which takes a topographical map of the cornea (front window of the eye) and maps out and quantifies your astigmatism. These tests allow the surgeon to see exactly which procedure will best benefit your eyes. The surgeon will also perform an additional advanced diagnostic test during surgery known as ORA Optiplus Refractive Analysis to pick the exact power of the lens implant that will be placed in your eye.